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Sports briefs for July 1, 2013

By BDN Staff and Wire Reports, Special to the BDN

Bangor Raceway sets Fourth of July race card

BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Raceway will host a special night of racing on Thursday, the Fourth of July. Live racing is normally not held at Bangor Raceway on Thursday nights, but it has become a tradition to feature live racing in Bangor on Independence Day.

Independence Day harness racing will get underway with a special 6 p.m. post time and a normal slate of races scheduled. That should allow racing to wrap up just in time for the 4th of July fireworks presentation, with a clear view from the grandstand now that the old Bangor Auditorium has been torn down.

The 130th season of racing at historic Bangor Raceway began in May and will continue through Saturday, July 20 before breaking for fair season. Bangor Raceway hosts racing every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, with Saturday race cards added July 13 and 20. Post time on Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday is 5 p.m., while Friday night post times are at 6 p.m. The fall racing season will begin Sept. 13.

Maine’s Cole named to All-America third team

Philadelphia — University of Maine senior defensive lineman Michael Cole has been named to The Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America Third Team.

A season ago, Cole recorded seven sacks in just five games to go along with 20 tackles and a pair of forced fumbles. Heading into 2013, Cole stands just 6.5 sacks away from tying the all-time school-record of 27.5 sacks in a career.

UNE names Collins field hockey coach

BIDDEFORD, Maine — The University of New England has selected Danielle Collins as its next head field hockey coach, UNE Director of Athletics Kim Allen announced in a press release Monday.

Collins replaces Dani Ryder, who resigned in May to become the head coach at Bates College.

Collins comes to UNE from Brown University, where she served as the top assistant under former Olympian and U.S. National Team member Jill Reeve for three seasons. At Brown, Collins was the recruiting coordinator, assisted with practice planning and execution, planned alumnae outreach, and worked with the budget.

Prior to her stint at Brown, Collins was an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Lowell for one season. She is also a former standout player at the University of Vermont and is the Catamounts’ career leader in goals scored (48) and total points (121).

A-Rod to begin rehab assignment Tuesday

The New York Yankees announced Monday that they cleared third baseman Alex Rodriguez to begin a rehab assignment.

Rodriguez is scheduled to start and play at least three innings for Class A Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday night.

Rodriguez, who has not played this season because of offseason hip surgery, has been working out at the team’s spring training facility in Tampa, Fla.

Rodriguez and the team had a disagreement last week over his progress. Rodriguez tweeted that his doctor cleared him to play, which led to an angry reaction from general manager Brian Cashman since the team had not given him approval. The two sides then talked it out.

Reporters asked Rodriguez on Saturday how his relationship is with the team.

“Ready to get back on the field. All good,” he said.

Bargnani trade to Knicks finalized

The New York Knicks finalized a trade for power forward Andrea Bargnani, ESPN reported Monday.

The deal cannot be made official until July 10 when the league’s moratorium on free-agent signings and trades is lifted.

The Knicks will send guard Steve Novak, center Marcus Camby, forward Quentin Richardson, a 2016 first-round pick and second-round picks in 2014 and 2017 to the Toronto Raptors for Bargnani.

The two sides were unable to complete the sign-and-trade deal Sunday night so the Knicks added Richardson on Monday morning to satisfy league trade requirements. Camby is back where he started his career but he did not sound happy about it. The Raptors drafted him No. 2 overall in 1996.

Bargnani has missed 98 games over the two seasons with injuries. He had a sprained right elbow last season. The 7-foot Bargnani, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft, averaged 12.7 points and 3.7 rebounds in 35 games for Toronto last season.

Pacers add McMillan to coaching staff

The Indiana Pacers announced on Monday that they have signed Nate McMillan as an associate head coach.

McMillan replaces Brian Shaw, who became head coach of the Denver Nuggets.

“To get someone with his experience as a player and a coach will be extremely valuable to our players, to our staff and to our franchise, head coach Frank Vogel said.

McMillan, who played at North Carolina State, was drafted by Seattle with the 30th overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, played his entire 12-year career with the Sonics and had his No. 10 retired.

Seattle hired him as head coach in 2000 and remained in with the Sonics until after the 2005 season, when he became the coach of the Portland Trail Blazers, who fired him in March, 2012.

Pelicans give Evans $44-million offer sheet

The New Orleans Pelicans committed to giving guard Tyreke Evans, a restricted free agent with the Sacramento Kings, with a four-year, $44 million offer sheet when the NBA’s moratorium on signing players ends July 10, according to league sources.

Under NBA rules, when the Kings officially receive the offer sheet, they would have three days to decide whether to match deal and retain Evans, or let him go to the Pelicans.

General manager Dell Demps of the Pelicans met with Evans and his representatives shortly after Sunday night in Los Angeles, as soon as teams were able to start negotiations with free agents.

Evans, the 2010 NBA Rookie of the Year, averaged 15.2 points last season for Sacramento.

However, the Kings declined to give Evans a contract extension last year, giving him an opportunity to negotiate contracts with other teams this summer.

Sacramento retained its rights to match any offer sheet by giving Evans a qualifying offer last week for $6.9 million for next season.

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